Olive Tapenade Recipes

Olive tapenade recipes can be used to spread on crackers to make delicious appetizers. 

Or use a tapenade on top of your seared tuna and compliment it with a passion fruit cream sauce - it's delicious! 

You can make a green olive tapenade, a ripe olive tapenade, or use a combination of both types in your tapenade recipes.

When most olives ripen they go from a bright green, to a light brown, to a vibrant red, to a purplish hue, and finally to deep black. 

Although, some varieties of olives will remain green even when ripe. 

A green olive tapenade is usually made from olives that were picked young and unripe.  And a black olive tapenade will be made from the riper olives.

Did you know that most raw olives are usually not palatable and must go through some type of curing or fermentation process before they can be consumed?

And did you know there's such a thing as olives that contain probiotics?

I would use the various types of olives (especially the olives that contain probiotics) to change the taste and health benefits of this wonderful spread. 

However, be sure to stay away from the "fake" black olives (in a can usually) that were pumped with oxygen to turn them black.

Olive Tapenade Recipes - Green Olive Tapenade


  • 1 cup Naturally Cured Green Olives
  • Rinsed Capers to Taste
  • 1 Tbsp. of Fresh Organic Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup of Cold-Pressed Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup of Chopped Organic Italian Parsley or Your Favorite Freshly Picked Herb


  1. Pit olives and add all ingredients to a food processor or blender.  Pulse a few times until well combined.

Be aware that green olives or unripe olives will be more bitter tasting than ripe olives. 

And green olives can contain twice as much sodium. 

Ideas for Your Olive Tapenade Recipes

  • Kalamata Olives
  • Nafplion Olives
  • Beldi Olives
  • Liguria Olives
  • Gaeta Olives
  • Nicoise Olives
  • Moulin de Daudet Olives
  • Moroccan Olives
  • Sicilian Green & Black Olives
  • Gordal Olives
  • Arbequina Olives
  • Lacto-Fermented Olives
  • Organic Lemon Juice
  • Organic Lemon Zest
  • "Real" Greek or Italian Olive Oil
  • Anchovies or Anchovy Paste
  • Sprouted Nuts or Seeds
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Raw Garlic or Roasted Garlic
  • Organic Capers
  • Fresh Organic Parsley, Basil, or Thyme
  • Organic Dried Raisins or Figs
  • Organic Hot Peppers or Bell Peppers
  • Organic Spices

Olive Tapenade Recipes - Black Olive Tapenade


  • 1/2 cup Gaeta Olives
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata Olives
  • 1 Tbsp. of Rinsed Capers
  • 2 Anchovy Fillets
  • 2 Cloves of Organic Garlic
  • 3 Tbsps. Cold-Pressed Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Leaves from a Sprig of Fresh Parsley


  1. Pit olives and add all of the ingredients into a food processor or into a blender.
  2. Blend or pulse until a coarse paste is produced.
  3. Olive tapenade can be served with fish, crackers, meats, cheese, or pasta.

Try the different types of naturally cured ripe or black olives along with a variety of other ingredients to make delicious and interesting olive tapenade recipes.

Olive Tapenade Recipes
- Green & Black Olive Tapenade


  • 3 Cups Green Olives (Sicilian, Gordal, etc.) & Ripe Olives (Moroccan, Kalamata, Gaeta, etc.)
  • 1 Chopped Garlic Clove
  • 1/2 a Seeded Jalapeno Pepper
  • Zest of 1 Organic Lemon
  • 3 Tbsps. Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Organic Parsley
  • Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh Chopped Organic Thyme


  1. Pit olives and add the olives, garlic, pepper, and zest into a food processor or into a blender.
  2. Pulse until a coarse paste is produced and then put into a bowl.
  3. Add in the olive oil, parsley, black pepper, and thyme - stir to mix.
  4. Olive tapenade can be served with fresh fruits and veggies.

This olive tapenade recipe should be made using naturally cured green and ripe olives. 

It's especially important to make sure that your green olives were not treated with lye!

Want to Learn How to Cure Olives?

Olives will be a raw food unless they've been pasteurized (which you'll find frequently at grocery stores). 

Also, most raw olives are very bitter and contain substances that need to be removed before an olive is fit for human consumption.

Oleuropein is a bitter tasting substance that's found especially in unripe olives.

Olives will go through a curing process which can involve a Lye Cure (which is the cheapest way), a Dry Cure, Brine Cure, Water Cure, Oil Cure, or if your lucky a Sun/Air Cure.

Because green olives are more bitter than ripe olives, they will be more prone to receiving a lye treatment to get rid of its bitterness. 

Important!  Lye treated olives usually have their pits removed as well and are less flavorful. 

Always buy olives that come with their pits and that have been naturally cured. 

If you have an olive tree or can purchase raw olives, you can learn techniques on how to cure them yourself. 

How to Make Olives Edible at Home

Usually curing olives will involve at least 2 or more of the following curing methods.

Oil-Curing:  Soaking in oil for several months.

Dry-Curing:  Covered in salt for a few weeks.

Brine-Curing:  Soaking in salted water for weeks to a few months.

Water-Curing:  Rinsing and re-soaking in water for about a week to over a month.

How to Get Salt Free Olives

Most olives that you buy at the store are way too salty because curing olives usually always involves salt at some point during the curing process.

Olives that are too salty can be rinsed under cold water or submerged in water for a few minutes to mellow out the salty flavor.

There may also be a type of olive tree where the ripe fruit is edible straight off the tree.

Supposedly, the Throubes olive is an example of a variety of olive that can be left to cure on the tree and then directly eaten.

Air Dried Olives

  • Use Freshly Picked Ripe Olives
  • Store Ripe Olives in a Dry and Protected Ventilated Environment for 1 to 1 1/2 Months
  • Then Store in an Airtight Jar or Container
  • Olives Should Keep for a While

This is another way to cure your olives - drying them.  And it's a great way to cut way down on salt.

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